Tombeau de Marie Stuart (2008), co-commissioned by Remix Ensemble (Casa da Música, Oporto) and Klangforum Wien, premiered in Casa da Música by both orchestras. This composition could be described as the result of three personal journeys:
1st journey: towards Lully, Marin Marais and the universe of the dance suites from the French Baroque era. This period displayed an extraordinary capacity for transforming war into dance, suffering into timbre, and politics into choreography. Dance as an allegory preparing for death, goes back to the Stone Age, some 30, 000 years ago and probably to the very origins of music.
2nd journey: towards Friedrich Schiller’s drama “Maria Stuart”, which premiered in 1800. The prosodic rhythm of the two pages prior to Marie’s execution provided the rhythmic matrix for the whole musical composition. Furthermore, the poetic itinerary of the Queen’s last moments was decisive for the composition’s structure: the crucifix in her hands, the flight of memories, the presence of a body still full of life and, finally, the farewell.
3rd journey: towards the “Crucification” (around 1460) by the Italian painter Paolo di Dono, better known as Paolo Uccello. The formalism of the scene has always fascinated me. It enhances the movements that four ‘actors’ seem to perform around the hanging Christ, almost as if they were part of a symbolic dance. In spite of the clothes, one can observe that Uccello was deeply acquainted with the human anatomy. Nevertheless, Paolo di Dono is more famous for his study of perspective. The nickname uccello (bird) was imposed on him because of his obsession with the drawing of birds and other natural elements - a task that he could carry on doing throughout the whole night. For me, the study of animal anatomy is equivalent to the study of instruments and orchestration.
Commissioning Body Remix Ensemble Casa da Música/Klangforum Wien